Risk of falling! That is exactly what exists during installation and the subsequent maintenance and servicing tasks on the photovoltaic system on a flat or pitched roof. Danger sources include the fall edge, skylights, accesses and ascents to the roof, and the pitched roof itself. For this reason, a professional, certified fall protection system is essential, because this is the only way that you can be on the safe side legally in terms of industrial safety.
In addition, solar system installers also find themselves faced with numerous challenges when it comes to planning and installing the PV system and the associated fall protection system. Weather conditions, the building or roof itself, and also the efficiency or output of the planned PV system when combined with the safety aspect cannot and must not be overlooked.
For combining optimum output with the factor of safety, there are various safety solutions to prevent falls. These vary according to the onsite situation. There are various aspects which decide why and when any fall protection system is suitable. However, with a professional partner at your side you can propose a holistic package to the customer, and ensure the necessary safety for the photovoltaic system.
In this article we present the 6 most frequent questions about fall protection systems for PV installations on a roof.
Question 1: What favours a fall protection system installed directly onto the PV substructure?
Essentially, a safety solution should not impair the output of the PV system. Thanks to the low-profile attachment of the fall protection system directly to the photovoltaic substructure, no shadow is cast on the adjacent PV modules. Additionally, there are no roof penetrations whatsoever. A further advantage is that the roof surface can be used right up to the roof edge. Because of the combined structure of the fall protection and PV systems, there are no additional obstacles on the roof which could obstruct the work performed there. Furthermore, any other activities which may arise on the roof can be performed in safety.
Question 2: In terms of installing a fall protection system, what are the disadvantages of penetrating the roof?
A roof penetration is associated with a roof opening. This in turn means that, in the long term, moisture and water can penetrate into the building, and the roof may leak. Anchorage devices which do not use the PV system often require such roof penetrations. It is a different matter with safety solutions installed directly on the photovoltaic substructure.
Question 3: For PV installations on a roof, which fall protection systems are even available?
In principle, a distinction is made between collective and individual protection. Individual protection is used for securing individual persons on a roof, while collective protection secures all persons located on a roof. The individual protection solutions include the AIO lifeline system from INNOTECH, as well as the TAURUS rail system, for example. But single anchor points are individual protection solutions too. The collective protection solutions include, for example, the BARRIER guardrail system from INNOTECH for securing a flat roof. For a pitched roof there are also safety roof hooks as an individual protection solution.
Question 4: How does a solar system installer benefit from collaborating with a certified expert in fall protection on roofs?
The TOP 4 benefits at a glance:
- Positive image: If you have a holistic view of safety on and with PV installations, then as a solar system installer you gain a decisive expertise advantage, as well as an image boost compared with your competitors.
- Working in safety: With a professional fall protection system, all activities on the roof and on the PV system can be performed in safety.
- Planning certainty: Through collaborating with a fall protection professional, you obtain a complete safety concept which is tailored to the situation.
- Broad range of safety solutions: Every situation requires customised planning, and, in turn, a different fall protection system.
Question 5: The cost factor! Is attachment of the fall protection system to the PV substructure financially attractive for my customers?
Considered over the medium and long term, an integrated fall protection system pays for itself in every case. The roof cladding remains undamaged, and in addition this approach ensures that the PV system functions optimally. In addition, the fall protection system provides the necessary safety on the roof.
Question 6: Where do I gain the knowledge to install the fall protection system appropriately and effectively?
There are various training options for this, such as the 1-day training session in fall protection systems for photovoltaic installations on a roof for example, where theory and practice merge, and the legal principles are also explained.
A guide which answers further questions
One thing is certain: when it comes to safety, the choice should fall on a professional, certified fall protection system, because this is the only way to link together the cost factor and the aspect of safety. Discover everything worth knowing, summarised succinctly, in our definitive guide to fall protection systems for PV installations on a roof.